Participants at the 2009 American National Summit on Lesbian Health, held earlier this month, have praised ACON’s efforts to establish a national health agenda for same-sex attracted women.
ACON Lesbian Health Officer Siri May was invited to speak at the conference in San Francisco on her role in developing Turning Point, the national lesbian health strategy released by ACON last October, and reported an overwhelmingly positive response.
Every copy of Turning Point I took with me was snapped up before I could take stock, May told Sydney Star Observer from the United States.
Many women sought me out after my presentation to express their excitement and ask advice on how to initiate the process of developing a strategic document like this one.
Although there were fantastic examples of project work within the US-based organisations, the larger-scale strategic approach in America was missing, she said.
The lesbian health movement in America has experienced similar challenges to Australia in relation to the definition and visibility of lesbian health and advocating for increased awareness and funding. Turning Point was the only plan of its kind at the conference and provided a great example of a first step towards this type of definition.
The summit, which featured speakers on everything from IVF to body image, drug and alcohol strategies and discussions on inter-generational learning, also provided a key opportunity for May to absorb information to be applied back home.
The purpose of the conference from my perspective, was to access a space where ideas, learning and challenges could be shared. It not only provided inspiration for workers in the field but, importantly, assisted in building and expanding an evidence base for our work -” which is so crucial in a field like lesbian health.
info: For more information on ACON’s lesbian health strategy Turning Point visit acon.org.au/womens-health.